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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

Reading about the steady drumbeat of socio-economic and political turmoil across the globe, amid pervasive concerns about the personal value systems of America’s me-generation, contributes to my gnawing sense that “things are heading in the wrong direction.” Then from time to time I learn of extraordinary acts of “giving back,” socially responsible behavior and caring for others that give me hope for a better future. I would like to highlight four brief stories, each of which involves younger real estate professionals going beyond their day-to-day personal career and family responsibilities to help others or work for the greater good of their communities. Each of them would be a great hire, but they are all employed.

REAA Bowling FundraiserTriggering my reasons for this letter was a heartwarming act of “giving back” by one of our newly minted MSRE alumni. Before leaving San Diego to move back to Illinois, this former U.S. Marine visited our offices to say his goodbyes and express his appreciation for the education he’d received. He also contributed generously to the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s scholarship fund for future MSRE students by donating his share of the cash prize earned by his MSRE team in this year’s Argus Software University Challenge.

As I reflected on this behind-the-scenes act of kindness and caring for future MSRE students, I quickly realized that through the Center’s academic and industry programs I have come across many similar acts of selflessness and reaching out to help others. Three examples below also illustrate concepts of “above and beyond” the ordinary, involve real estate professionals, and build upon the strong foundation of countless real estate executives as leaders—and as worker bees—adding their support in every corner of the not-for-profit and philanthropic worlds. Three examples also giving me hope for the future include:

  • A Woodruff Scholarship winner who with several others started a foundation and obtained a grant and other funding to form a high-achieving charter school for disadvantaged children in Southeast San Diego.
  • A member of the Center’s Young Entrepreneurs Council who, as a young engineering alumnus of the University of Oklahoma, personally funded an endowed scholarship for future engineering students at that university. Moreover, to create a gift that gives even more in the future, for special events in his life (birthday, Christmas, etc.) he suggests to others that in lieu of gifts to him they consider adding to the scholarship he endowed.
  • A group of young real estate professionals drawn largely from our Woodruff Scholars and Young Entrepreneurs Council soon will meet for the second time to discuss and debate if they could be king and make the rules how they would want this region to evolve over the course of their lives. Their focus goes far beyond real estate to encompass every aspect of the quality of individuals’ and families’ lives in this region. Over time I expect many of these real estate executives to emerge as important players in San Diego’s not-for-profit, civic and business communities. 

Too often I think assessments of the sustainability of this region’s economy and quality of life underestimate the value of innovative products and services, entrepreneurial initiatives and thought leadership emanating from this county’s wonderful universities. We also tend to forget that unlike many employers whose businesses grow successfully only to be acquired and leave the region, universities do not move away or get moved away when the going gets good. Moreover, a majority of their alumni stay in San Diego, create jobs and companies and raise families. Many also “give back,” going well beyond the ordinary just because they want to, because they care for their fellow human beings and are willing and able to act on those convictions.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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Norm Miller Receives Tenure; Vivek Sah Reappointed

Norm Miller
Norm Miller, PhD

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, has been awarded tenure status, effective September 1, 2013. Miller becomes the second tenured faculty member in the Burnham-Moores Center; Charles Tu, PhD, was awarded tenure in 2008. Miller has numerous academic articles, books and articles in trade publications on housing, brokerage, mortgage risk, valuation and sustainable real estate among other topics. His research on housing market analysis and forecasting spans three decades. He is the editor of the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate and co-author of “Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investment,” which is the leading real estate graduate-level textbook in the world.

Vivek Sah
Vivek Sah, PhD

Vivek Sah, PhD, was reappointed as a School of Business Administration faculty member. Sah joined the Burnham-Moores Center in the fall of 2009. Sah’s primary research interests are in the areas of REITs, behavioral real estate and real estate mutual funds. His research has been published in leading real estate journals, such as the Journal of Property Research, the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management and the Journal of Property Investment and Finance. He received his PhD from Georgia State University in 2009, and his dissertation won the Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research under the property category.

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BMC Takes Part in NAIOP North County Showcase

NAIOP event
Student and alumni services manager Annie Grand (pictured above) speaks to a visitor at the Burnham-Moores Center’s booth at NAIOP’s North County Property Showcase, held June 7 in Carlsbad. This was the second year NAIOP held the trade show and mixer for North San Diego County developers and vendors.
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MSRE Student Receives BIA Scholarship

Alex Leonard
Alex Leonard ’12 (MSRE)

Alex Leonard ’12 (MSRE) was one of seven students in the San Diego area pursuing careers in the building industry and having demonstrated academic excellence who received a $1,000 scholarship from the Building Industry Association of San Diego’s charitable organization, BIA Cares.

Housing Opportunities Inc., originally founded and financed by BIA, decided to wind down its operations and donated $25,000 to BIA Cares, which focuses its attention on the needs of children. The official presentation of the $25,000 was made on June 14 at the Del Mar Hilton Hotel, where the students were each presented their scholarships.

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Karras Named Chair of San Diego EDC

Stath Karras
Stath Karras

Stath Karras, Cushman & Wakefield managing director and Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee member, has been named chair of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. Karras replaces Debra Reed, who is chief executive at Sempra Energy. The San Diego EDC is a privately funded organization focused on attracting and retaining business in the region. Karras will hold the post for two years. He has been a member of the Center’s PAB Executive Committee since 2003.

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Professor Sah Teaches Undergraduate Course in Paris

Study abroad students and faculty at the Reims Management School.

The Burnham-Moores Center’s Vivek Sah, PhD, taught an undergraduate course, “Financing Residential Real Estate,” as part of USD’s study abroad program this summer. From their base in Paris, students were exposed to real estate “best practices” in activities ranging from week-long classes held in the Buro Club in Parmentier (11th arrondissement), to presentations on real estate markets and conditions in France by the faculty of the Reims Management School (in the Champagne region) and of École de Management Strasbourg (on the French-German border).

One field trip included a visit to WeberHaus, a German firm specializing in pre-fabricated homes. Average sizes of these homes range from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet and costs in the $270,000 to $300,000 range, with the plant producing three to four homes daily. On the lighter side, on another field trip following the lectures at the Reims Management School, students toured the cellars of Taittinger, a well-known producer of champagne.  

 “The learning experience from such international exposure is immense especially due to the cultural differences and specialized real estate markets in Europe,” said Sah. “For example, in the context of real estate finance, France does not have adjustable rate mortgages as options for lenders and borrowers. This constraints the flexibility that lenders and borrowers otherwise could have in managing their balance sheets, which when used properly can enhance the efficiency of a nation’s mortgage markets.”

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Brad Geier, Brian Caster Receive Father of the Year Awards

Brad Geier
Brad Geier

Burnham-Moores Center supporters Brad Geier and Brian Caster have received the 2012 Father of the Year Award by the American Diabetes Association and the Father’s Day Council of San Diego. Geier and Caster received the recognition at a June 7 dinner at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, where they were lauded for their dedication to their families and the community.

Geier, who is co-founder, co-owner and co-managing partner of Merlone Geier Partners, is a member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee. Caster is a longtime supporter of USD’s real estate program; his daughter, Elise, received her Master of Science in Real Estate degree in May 2011.

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Alums Network at Casual Thursday Event

Casual Thursday
(From left to right) RJ Scott ’10 (MSRE), Nick Walsh ’10 (MSRE), Eric Held ’12 (MSRE/IMBA), International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) student Anjaniprasad Annumalla, Matt Gevergiz ’11 (MSRE), Greg Ives ’00 (BA), Wren Arnett ’10 (MSRE) and Justin Brennan ’06 (MSRE) gather for a photo at the event.

On June 14, Real Estate Alumni Association (REAA) members met at the Karl Strauss Brewery & Restaurant in Sorrento Valley for a Casual Thursday real estate networking event. Current graduate students and USD alumni working in the real estate industry attended the event to visit with their classmates, make connections and learn about new real estate projects in the San Diego region. To learn more about the REAA, go here.

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Norm Miller Presents at NABE Webinar

NABE logoProfessor Norm Miller, PhD, presented at a June 28 Webinar, “What are the Data Telling Us? The Economics of Green Buildings,” which was part of the National Association for Business Economics’ Real Estate Roundtable. Miller was part of an international panel of experts on the economics of green buildings. Miller is co-author of the groundbreaking 2008 study, “Does Green Pay Off?,” which was the first paper on the value proposition of Energy Star-labeled and LEED-certified buildings. Miller’s co-panelists were Nils Kok, assistant professor in finance and real estate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and Marc Heisterkamp, director of strategic accounts for the commercial real estate and financial services sectors at the U.S. Green Building Council.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and Associate Professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the June 8, June 15, June 22 and June 29 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s weekly “EconoMeter.”

Alan Gin, PhD, was mentioned in The Daily Transcript June 9 following his most recent release of the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center.

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, was featured in a June 11 San Diego Business Journal article on the local housing market.

Norm Miller’s co-authored study, “Rent to Value Ratio: The Economics of Rental Property,” appeared on June 6.

Mark Riedy, PhD, was featured in a June 17 San Diego Union-Tribune guest column on the local housing market.

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WEDNESDay, JULY 25, 2012

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Annual Bowling Tournament Fundraiser

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for its annual bowling tournament fundraiser, which raises money for real estate scholarships.

  • 6 - 8:30 p.m.
  • East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market St., San Diego, 92101
  • $50 per player; includes bowling, shoe rental, appetizers and two drink tickets
  • To sign up a team of four, each player must first register individually, then
    e-mail Annie Grand with the team members’ names.
  • To register, go here.
  • For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact Annie Grand at 619-260-7619.

THURSDay, SEPT. 13, 2012

Breakfast at the BMC featuring James Watson, CEO and President of CT Realty Investors - Save the date!

  • 7:30 - 9 a.m.
  • Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego campus
  • For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

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